Friday, June 2, 2017

Memorial Day road trip!


Radio silence up on this blog because #work #kids #life

I HATE not blogging.  So much.  But I'm going to be honest with you, it just is the last thing on my list of "to-dos" right now and as much as I hate that, it has to be because the other things are priority.  But it's my job as the mama to document life.  And while my IG is always bumping, I love this blog - so when we took a trip to over Memorial Day weekend to visit my grandma and then tagged on a quick drive up to Minneapolis, I took a bizillion pictures like I always do...but was determined to get them on here!!  And here we go.

We kicked off the trip actually by leaving somewhat on time - YEAH!  Getting everyone in the car and picking up my dad by 8AM - calling that a win.  I had plenty of snacks and was the designated snack passer outer from the back seat while Jimmy drove and my dad was in the front.

I'll spare you the details of the drive.  Estherville, IA is supposed to take around 6 hours (according to Google Maps), but of course it takes us 8 :)  Because kids and their bladders.  I don't think either of the big kids slept except.  Oh wait, they might have right before we got there but it's ok.  At least there were no accidents in the car and plenty of movies and snacks!

The best part is always making it there is going into my grandma's room and seeing her smile!!!  Literally her face when she sees our kids is just so awesome and worth every tantrum and stop and whine that our kids give us on the drive up.  They also feel the same way about her.  

The last time we saw her in person was last September when Mikey was only 2 months old.  So you can imagine how excited she was to see our kiddos because while Charlie and Maddie are older and have grown, Mikey is a totally different kid!!  What a difference 8 months makes.

We brought her lots of pictures to hang up, some flowers, licorice and lots of hugs and kisses.  We even went on a tour of the whole nursing home (when we were there in September, she was actually on hospice care and was very weak.  By God's good grace - it wasn't her time to go - and here she is in May holding Mikey and having Maddie and Charlie take her on tours!!).  Since we had not even gotten to our hotel, we left my dad there and went to check in and, of course, the most fun --- went to the pool.  This was second on the list under seeing Great Grandma.  Indoor pools are the bomb!

I didn't get any pictures, but my aunt and uncle who live in Estherville came to our hotel after they got off work and my aunt and uncle who live in Cedar Rapids came in town (so nice!) so they all came - with my dad and grandma - and brought Godfather's pizza and we all ate it and drank beer and then watched the kiddos go swimming.  The weather was just perfect too, so we got some patio time in.

And then.....bedtime.  In a hotel room.  My dad stayed at my aunt and uncle's house, so it was just the five of us.  But it is so hard with just one room - when we are used to four!  But it was big enough to put Mikey down in the pack n play on one side of the room and then play Star Wars on our laptop on the other side while everyone snuggled in a bed to watch a movie.

While the beds were full (minus Mikey in his pack n play), we only have one wake up and I'd say overall it was a good night!!  The next morning we got up and ate some breakfast before heading back to see my grandma.  The kids and my dad helped hang up some new pictures we brought her on the new bulletin boards - she loves the pictures.  And all she wanted to do was hold Mikey!

The weather was BEAUTIFUL (no wind even!) so we decided to take grandma out to the park just around the corner.  And BOY was it a park!  I took some snaps of it but didn't get pictures.  (and on this trip I learned about the memories setting in snap chat - wish I would have learned about it sooner!)  It was AWESOME.  Maddie loved the pea gravel - thank goodness we have it at home!

Since most of our pictures with Grandma are in her room - this was an awesome one with Iowa scenery behind us!

About lunchtime, we headed out from Estherville to the big city of Minneapolis!  Now why would we drive EVEN more?  Ha.  Well, what's surprising is that the drive home from Minneapolis is the same or less than to Estherville because it's a straight shot on the highway.  So we figured - extra day off - why not take an extra road trip to a fun city and make some more memories??

For some reason, that 2.5 hour drive was SO long.  Ha.  But we made it in time to check into our hotel and walk over to the Mall of America.  Yes, we stayed right outside of the mall and it was touristy, but great.  Walking there made it SO much easier because we could just take our strollers and not have to deal with in and out of car seats and the parking there!  It was great!

Of course the first thing we hit up was the rides.  The kids love it.  But so did Jimmy. HA.  Maddie didn't nap, so she wasn't quite as excited.  And I have a little run in with a #judgymom - yep.  Maddie was getting off a ride and literally sat down and threw a fit on the floor.  This mom that had a daughter younger than Maddie (who obviously is unaware of the fun that almost 3 years old will bring) literally looked at me and her and me and her instead of just walking around her.  Seriously ladies, MOMS need to support each other.  Not judge.  I was pissed.  Ha.

But on a more exciting note - Mikey got to go on the carousel with the big kids.  And he LOVED it and so did the big kids.  Yeah for three kids all doing the same thing!!!

We went on a few more rides and then it was time for the LEGO store!  Oh how I wish I had saved those memories in snap chat because I got some awesome snaps and IG stories of these kids in awe of the walls and walls of legos.  They, of course, went straight to the Star Wars section and they picked out some of their favs.  Maddie loves Rey and go that!!  They were THRILLED!

And Mikey?  He was thrilled with the map of the rides.  And I love him for that.

We did a few more rides before we got hungry...

....and just angry in general (she was angry but smiled for me)

We got some take out and headed back to the hotel for the best part - swimming, right??!  

One thing that I have found from this trip ----- these two?  They are going to be up to NO good.  Haha.  Their relationship.  I swear. It's one of a kind.  One of my favorite things is seeing all three of my kiddos relationships develop with each other.  

And remember my aunt and uncle that I said live in Estherville?  Well they were up in Minneapolis for the Twins game on Saturday and came to our hotel to hang out some more.  They apparently didn't have enough of our kids!  And my uncle Bruce tried to show Jimmy that Mikey was a Twins fan - Jimmy was like NEVER. 

After swimming...the night didn't end!  We were on vacation and that meant late bedtimes.  So everyone got in on the lego fun!  Love this crew! 


And then it was time for movies with Papa!!   

We stayed in a TownePlace Suites and it was great because it had 2 bedrooms and a kitchen and living room area - so plenty of room but also the two rooms (with doors!!) was key!  

Maddie slept in and WHOA bed head!

Free breakfast and a workout in a gym!?  OK!  My dad was awesome and instead of doing it upstairs with no weights, he told me to go get it done!  Great way to start the day!

And seriously.  Just this kid.  I love him. 

We decided to head downtown to go to a 1:10 Twins game.  And it was crazy but fun!

Awesome awesome weather and even better company!

And thankful for somewhat empty concourses so this lady could just push her brother around and entertain him! 

And thank goodness for diaper bags full of all kinds of goodies - including colors and coloring books!

Mikey was the only one that snoozed (#canthang) and then (of course) I made us grab a group picture before headed back to our hotel.  We had dinner reservations at a Japanese steakhouse that night at 6, so we wanted to make sure we had time to get back and relax a bit before then.

I'd say they were pooped!

Dinner was AWESOME.  The kids were mesmerized and the adults were stuffed!

The saddest part of the trip was us totally not realizing it was SUNDAY night and stores in the mall close early then.  We had told Charlie he could go back to the lego store and get another set of legos if he was good all day.  But we finished dinner around 7 and it was closed.  He was devastated.  But thankfully, after a few kicks and stomps, we told him that there was a WalMart near by (Papa had told him he was buying - and I told Papa he got the good end of that deal!!!) and they could take a boys trip there when we got back.  They did and he was thrilled and I got to spend some time with my younger two and laugh at them!

The next morning we were up and on the road by 8.  It was a LONG drive.  Charlie was whiny.  

But we made good time and a stop at Chik fil A - so that was good.  And we played the animal game (where you are supposed to think of an animal and then other people ask questions about it to try to guess what animal).  It was fun but Maddie picked CORN as her animal.  Oh jeez.  Probably a had to be there moment but I laughed so hard that I cried on that one. 

 We got home around 4 and then my mom came over with dinner at 5:30 (along with my sister and her husband), so by the time that was over with.....we had a LONG weekend.  And everyone was feeling it.  Especially this little man.  He was a TROOPER.

But really - any trip with kiddos is tough.  I'm thankful that my dad tagged along and got to see his brothers and mom, but also for that man to man defense.  Lord knows we always need that to make sure no one goes missing or gets stolen (#paranoid).  Even though it was exhausting --- especially because I literally had to get home and do laundry and then head to Chicago the next day until Wednesday night --- so worth it.  I'm guessing our kids will be talking about those hotel pools for years to come.... ;)


  1. So many cute pictures! It looks like you had such a great trip!

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